The Right Training Content Mix 10/2/1

The Right Training Content Mix 10/2/1

Every organization has a diverse range of core business, professional and technical skills their employees require for success. Among these skills are leadership, manager and supervisory skills, new manager training, sales, customer service, communications, problem solving, and desktop computing. We could probably name more, but you get the idea, right? Organizations require foundational skills development across many different competencies and topic areas.

Further complicating the job is the fact that there are three levels of content needed for most training:

Level 1 – Basic off-the-shelf content designed to provide a foundational level of mastery of a specific skill or competency.

Level 2 – Content designed to illustrate the application of Level-1 content to an organization’s industry, business, processes or challenges.

Level 3 – Content that is 100 percent customized, based upon subject-matter expertise that is unique to the organization and/or industry.

How do we find the right mix or blend of these levels of content to deliver the right training content to our employees? We believe the best mix is a ratio of 10/2/1. So you want to provide about 10 off-the-shelf courses (Level 1), two moderately customized courses (Level 2), and one fully customized course (Level 3). This mix may vary depending upon your unique needs, but this ratio will serve as a useful starting point.

A good way to see 10/2/1 in action is to tell a story:

ABC Widget Corp. manufactures a unique widget. Its customers love the product and are continually finding new ways to use it. These creative uses posed challenges for product-support specialists. Customer satisfaction ratings of the product remained good, but there was a slip over six months as support reps struggled to answer new product questions from customers.

So ABC licensed an off-theshelf collection containing thousands of courses that included customer service, telephone skills, problem solving, dealing with difficult customers, and listening skills. It worked with the vendor to create a curriculum of 10 micro-learning videos on topics that would improve key support skills. Based upon the managers’ review of customer calls, ABC developed two additional videos to show the support team how to apply the foundational problem solving, customer service and listening skills to the calls coming in about the product. These videos helped the reps uncover more effectively and efficiently the root cause of customer problems and facilitate much faster resolution of requests for help.

ABC finally built one entirely customized course explaining the product itself: its design, intended use and how customers could maximize value from the creative ways customers were finding ways the widget could work.

This 10/2/1 approach allowed ABC Widget Corp. to do some very important things with the content and training team.

>> The Level 1, off-the-shelf, content provided skills training on the foundational skills employees needed to quickly and effectively solve customer service problems. By having access to a broad selection of content, each employee could focus on an individualized approach to improvement while freeing valuable training-team resources to develop more complex content.

>> Level 2 content allowed the training team and managers to illustrate how mastery of core customer-service skills worked in their company culture, using their systems and process to handle customer calls quickly and effectively.

>> The fully customized Level 3 content allowed ABC to take advantage of its unique subject-matter expertise and not waste time developing foundational training courses that were readily available in their OTS collection.

—To learn more about incorporating off-the-shelf content into your learning program, download BizLibrary’s complimentary e-book, “Got Content” at

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